Importance of Employer Branding in Recruitment

Episode 996: Importance of Employer Branding in Recruitment, with Bryan Adams

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Importance of employer branding in recruitment—Discover strategies to enhance recruitment success and know the importance of employer branding in recruitment.

What is the importance of employer branding in recruitment? You need to listen to this advice given by Bryan Adams in this podcast episode where he shares his expertise and more on today’s topic.

Bryan Adams is the CEO and founder of Ph. Creative, recognized as one of the leading employer brand agencies in the world with clients such as Apple, American Airlines, GVC, and Blizzard Entertainment. Bryan is also a bestselling author, podcaster, creative strategist, and specialist speaker.

He is considered a prominent employer brand thought leader and his creative, unconventional and even controversial methodologies are said to regularly change the way people think about employer branding and EVP.

His presentation style is energetic, passionate, thought-provoking and interactive, so get ready to contribute and engage as he reflects on the importance of employer branding in recruitment.


What you’ll learn in this episode is about the importance of employer branding in recruitment

  • How a negative experience working for someone else led Bryan to found Ph.Creative, and how he works to redefine the importance of employer branding in recruitment
  • How Ph.Creative does things differently by focusing on helping businesses attract great team members rather than attracting new clients
  • Why Bryan and his team realized that they needed to niche down to build their brand, plant their flag of expertise, and differentiate their company from their competitors
  • How employer branding helps attract top talent to Ph.Creative’s clients, and how the idea of focusing on employer branding helped Bryan define his business’s niche
  • Why Bryan realized that firing the clients that weren’t great fits for his team was a morale boost and improved their capacity to serve the clients they really wanted
  • Why it is important for your organization to hire not just based on whether someone can do the job, but hire based on whether they also fit your culture
  • Why the “harsh realities” of working at your company are how your team can find pride and achievement, and why you shouldn’t try to hide those realities from applicants
  • Why much of Ph.Creative’s work lies in educating the market on why their methods are so valuable, and how that translates into thought leadership that is changing the industry
  • How Ph.Creative’s “Give and Get” philosophy has served as a cornerstone of the work they do and an anchor point within their fairly narrow niche
  • How focusing on marketing to the “smallest viable audience” can allow you to dominate, own and transform your chosen niche




Importance of Employer Branding in Recruitment: Full Episode Transcript


Get ready to find your recipe for success from America’s top business owners here at Onward Nation with your host, Stephen Woessner.


Good morning, Onward Nation. I’m Stephen Woessner CEO of Predictive ROI. And your host. Before we dive into the discussion with Bryan Adams, who is the CEO and founder of Ph Creative, I want to make sure you’ve heard about our, how to fill your sales pipeline, the open mic Q and A sessions that Erik Jensen my business partner here at Predictive that Eric and I have been hosting every Wednesday at one o’clock Eastern or 12 noon central. Okay. So why are Eric and I doing this Onward Nation, the data is clear. The companies that came roaring out of the last six recessions and went on to dominate their niches post-recession. 


We’re the ones who doubled down and made progressive decisions in critical areas like their sales pipeline in the insights and strategies we’ve developed, tested, and implemented candidly over the last 11 years, it can be helpful. So we’re using the Q and A as an opportunity to teach and share an answer. Great questions. So Erik and I kick off each Q and A with five to 10 minutes around one of our latest strategic insights, maybe a best practice or a test result that we think is going to be helpful to you and your team. And then we quickly go open mic to answer all of your questions around lead gen. And we’ll come in with, you to help you make clear decisions on where you should focus your time and resources. 


There’s a litany of things that you can be doing. So how do you narrow down to narrow down your time and focus to make sure that you are applying your time toward the right things and come roaring out of this recession? So would that be helpful to you to go to And I look forward to seeing you there. Okay. Onward Nation, whole li bananas. The conversation we were about to have with Bryan Adams is going to be super helpful and in my opinion, helpful, and a lot of ways, but let me break it down into three. Let’s call them kind of high level categories. First, Bryan is a highly sought-after leader in the niche that his company Ph Creative serves so it is self-awesome. 


So we are going to talk through how he and his team work through the niching down discussions, which will be helpful because one of the topics, business owners and I talk about most often is niching down, but more specifically, their hesitancy to do it in the fear of lost opportunity that they typically associate with a thought of niching. So second, Bryan and I are also going to talk through their point of view as a company that they help, why the stories they find themselves often telling their core truths, and why those truths matter because all of that context forms their point of view at pH Creative. 


So when you combine niche with the point of view, it becomes your flag of authority, Onward Nation in that flag attracts, but sometimes getting clarity around the point of view, can be time-consuming and it can be challenging. So no doubt Bryan’s perspectives here, are going to be super helpful. So then third, once the flag of authority was identified at Ph Creative, well then how did they then plant that flag into solid ground by teaching in generously sharing content around the flag with the right audience who then may turn into the right fit prospects, who then may turn into right fit clients down the road. 


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Importance of Employer Branding in Recruitment: Bryan Adams’ Introduction


So I’m going to ask Bryan to share some insights that they learned along the way regarding content strategy. OK. So for some additional context, Onward, Bryan is a CEO and founder of Ph Creative. He has been recognized in his team as one of the leading employer brand agencies in the world with clients such as Apple, American Airlines, GVC, and Blizzard Entertainment. So without further ado, welcome to Onward Nation, Bryan. Stephen, a pleasure to be here. I really looking forward to the conversation today. 


It does. It’s a pleasure to have you here, sir. So thank you again for saying yes, very kind of you to make the time in your schedule. Ah, before we dive into the questions that I’d like to ask in those categories, actually take us behind the curtain and tell us a little bit more about, about you and your path in journey, and then we’ll dive in. 


Sure. So Ph Creative was started in 2004, March 30th because, on March 29th, I was working hard in a job that I loved, but I was bought out by a bus in front of about 50 people and I felt humiliated. So I stood up and walked out. He didn’t say anything and started the company the next day. And really the only motivation at that point was I was determined to run a business and prove that you didn’t have to be mean to people in order to succeed in it. So that’s where Ph Creative was. He was born. I started in a bedroom and the phone that didn’t ring would know clients. 


And this is a typical story and the rest is history, I guess, but it’s been a really interesting journey since then. Wow. Okay. I love that. So starting it the very next day, I love it. and it 


Seemed like, so I’m going to ask you to take us into employer brand and what that means just as a foundation, but it seems like the company that you were working for did not subscribe to those same principles. Can we agree? 


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Importance of Employer Branding in Recruitment: The Journey of Ph Creative’s Evolution and Purposeful Impact


Could you tell us what is the importance of employer branding in recruitment? Absolutely. It was an old mentality of an authoritarian sort of management style, which worked for a while, but that wasn’t sustainable. Certainly, it didn’t sort of suit me well I’m so that was the motivation. And I’m very grateful for that now because I don’t think it would’ve started a company. There’s always something I will do in the future, but it turned out to do that the next day or so, I’m grateful for that. But we started out as, as a branding and design organization. It was kind of just on the cusp of the internet. So we weren’t; we were print and web, and we were a marketing agency doing a variety of things. 


And I know we’ll get to this, but we, we founded for a number of years, we grew slightly, we struggled to build a reputation and we did great work, but life was a bit of a grind. Yeah. Then, we slowly fell into a specialist in Employer Branding because we were almost by luck and good planning. We have a number of recruitment clients, and we thought there was something in this, and it was a little bit different and we started to focus. So employer branding is about helping an organization, forge a reputation as an employer. So not to attract new clients, but to attract great talent to an organization and what we’re finding and what a lot of our clients and most businesses will agree as people who are the only true competitive advantage left in business you can automate, you can commoditize, you can scale and outsource in all of these things, but people are what makes a difference. 


So we’re a Ph Creative where called the defenders of happiness because we believe people spend much time in work and we wanna bring, we, we want to ideally match companies to people. So people can find careers where they can thrive, not just five, but to be clear, we don’t classify happiness, pleasure, happiness, his victories. There needs to be some purpose to that. So, we need to align a company’s purpose with an individual’s purpose so we can deliver impact, purpose, and belonging. That’s where we find a healthy organization really thrives when people forge a productive culture and so that’s why it’s such an interesting space to work. 


What is the importance of employer branding in recruitment? So they say find something you’ll never have worked a day in your life or not. I don’t always find that, but we do certainly live what we do at Ph and clearly, there’s some passion around it for you as well. So, take us into the early days of the traction as a marketing agency, and then would really love to tease out and better understand that journey sort of even, or even maybe that timeline you’ve described it as slowly falling into. So, just really kind of understanding that. And then I’m hoping that there is going to be some opportunity to talk about some of the conversations that you all have internally, because I’m sure it wasn’t easy. You probably have some interesting conversations. So, tell us a little bit about the early traction and then how you sort of slowly make that turn. 


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Importance of Employer Branding in Recruitment: Building Brand Differentiation


Could please further explain the importance of employer branding in recruitment? Yeah. So with a branding background, one thing that I am always looking for is differentiation that stands out, zagging what people, are getting. And that comes to the point that, as a frustrated entrepreneur, I recognized that it was very difficult to create a compelling story that anybody else cared about. Frankly, we have 6,000,001 competitors. We didn’t really have a point of difference, so slowly but surely, as we built up a set area of strength than the organization, we looked at it and in a very pragmatic way, it’s like if we go on to invest our resources and get behind something, almost like a marketing campaign to begin with, what story are we going to tell? 


And it was more about not being able to place multiple back because we have a small budget that there was a small team already working on glean. So we thought this was an area of strength, an area of opportunity. So, let’s double down in this space. What I loved about it was that employer branding was in its infancy. So there was an opportunity to like, I love the phrase, plant a flag. We saw all that and recognized that if we get ahead of this and enter the conversation, we can be credible and the rater and be part of something at the beginning. So, that’s what we did. Slowly but surely, we found was every bit of investment in choosing our clients choosing the services, or choosing what to say no to gave us momentum. 


The importance of employer branding in recruitment example:

And we started to really, really invest in a brand that suddenly stood for something, and differentiation started to evolve. And it was about momentum and traction. You know, we recognize that doubled down on it, and it clearly works. I just wish we had done it earlier. Okay. Okay. Interesting perspective. So then now I obviously don’t know your space as far as an Employer brand. So forgive me here, or if I ask this in the wrong way, but correct me, but my guess is, is that when larger employers, who do you typically work with or are looking for as specialist experts, the smartest minds that they can do, that they can go to, maybe some of them, we are going to go hire a recruiter and we’re going to go fill those, fill those positions. 


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Importance of Employer Branding in Recruitment: A 10-Year Transformation Journey


And if I understand correctly, the Ph Creative is not, and there’s not a one-time. It’s not about just recruiting and experts. You know, what you need for that MTC is about how we can make your brain attractive 365 days a year in my understanding of it correctly. Absolutely. So it’s just like Branding I’m in the consumer space. So when I say Starbucks, or I say Nike, or I say, Rolex, you get to sit in the picture in your mind, you get set in feeling as conjured is exactly that, where we are trying to bring reputation and awareness and the affinity for a brand as an employer. 


When did the importance of employer branding in recruitment started? In 2020, there’s been countless examples of brands being torn down, destroyed, or built up based on how they treated their people. That’s employer branding, your employer brand is what you stand for. And that is really a classic sort of timeless thing. And then this year, our employee value proposition, which needs to change with the market place and always be, be relevant. So it’s a constantly evolving process of being relevant and effective in that marketplace. Just like the relationship between consumer branding and consumer marketing. Awesome. 


Okay. So thank you for that additional context. When you said you only wish that you guys had done that sooner. So what, what was the timeline for it? Like how many years into the business, when and where you thought we needed to do something different. And then, and then the total time to the point where we’re Ph Creative had made this shift. So what, what did that look like? Timeline wise? 


Yeah, so we’re coming up to our 17th year, this month. So, we probably grew organically for around seven years. Then we started to organically build strength for another three years, and then we crystallized it after 10. So for the last seven years, we’ve been a specialist employer branding agency, and there’s no mystery around the correlation there. That’s where we saw differentiation was clearly defined growth, clearly started to happen, or a reputation started to forge. 


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Importance of Employer Branding in Recruitment: Ph Creative’s Journey to Landing Apple in Just Three Years


We went from working with you to giving you an idea. We started in Liverpool center of the universe of people on the way. And so working with local solicitor’s and dentists and so forth. And within two years of our specialist, we, we landed our first, a few American clients. And within three years that we, we we’re doing apples Employer brands and and that was that it was just a quantum leap from where we’d come from, you know? 


Okay, wait, wait a minute. Holy bananas. So literally working with, and there’s certainly nothing the matter with being working with local clients not at all. And I just want to be a hundred percent clear. That’s not what you were saying. What you’re saying is, is that going from working with local clients to being really clear about the flag and then so was it three years time or five years total to the Apple? 


It was three years. It was after it, do it after plant in the flag. As you say, after three years, we started working with Apple. 


Wow. Okay. Congratulations. And the reason why I’m saying that it was because clearly, that demonstrates that commitment ’cause, for a period of time, you were probably still getting, getting local clients or prospects come to you and saying, Hey guys, could you do a show? And then that takes some discipline to say, thank you, but no, right. 


Yeah, absolutely. And I think one of the big later points for me and I’ve had business coaches and mentors frequently time in my career, one of the biggest lessons is, and usually, I know I’ll do that frequently. I’ll sit down and look at everything I’ve got on a Typically, I’ve got too much, I’m trying to suspend too many plates and coming back to the basics of saying, say no to that 10, that off put that down deprioritize. That is an exercise, which here you need to do for three to six months, or at least, and it really did take that discipline. And sometimes when you growing and that entrepreneurial spirit is, or if somebody offers you a sale, it’s very difficult to say, no, we had a defining moment and the agency where we sit people down and we were looking for growth opportunities without an additional revenue ’cause we didn’t have it. 


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Importance of Employer Branding in Recruitment: How Firing Bottom Clients Boosted Team Morale and Transformed the Business


Do you have to think creatively? So one of the ideas that came from the team, which wasn’t a leadership, was how about we find out some of our clients that we don’t like. Mmm. And it was interesting because then, we did the math and analyzed. It was the lower-paying clients that took the most time with the least reward in projects that demoralized the team. So there was an overwhelming business case to fire up the bottom 20% of the clients. What about dead is a festival? It was a hell of a shot in the arm in terms of the morale, of our whole team. I just loved those for the conviction of doing that because their lives immediately improved. 


What is the importance of employer branding in recruitment? They didn’t have to deal with that angry person. That’s never satisfied the person that you need to educate more than they actually deliver. So on and so forth. We were all familiar with that. It was so frustrating, but it created the bandwidth and capacity to go after their clientele that we wanted from the start to create the efficiencies in Tanley that ultimately changed the business. 


Wow. Those are some really gutsy decisions. But in that, you almost became in, and maybe you did became one on one of your best case studies of, of how to actually treat your team and then pen of steak in the dirt and said, you know what? That’s not okay. We’re not going to have clients like that. And then your team really responded and rallied behind that. Right? 


Yeah. I mean, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows because there was definitely a period along that path where a number of our team members called BS were offering the services we were offering to our clients, and we were eating our own dog food and culture. Wasn’t right. We went put in our people first in in some really critical sort of a part of the business, the things that we were preaching to our clients, we just weren’t living. So that was a rude awakening, for me. And it was probably a defining moment in my sort of leadership career. Or if you like where I have to learn it, it was a stark awakening. Actually, we have to move forward with integrity and want to look around the organization. 


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Importance of Employer Branding in Recruitment: The Journey to Define and Uphold Company Values


I have to fundamentally change my behavior, my routine, my perspective. And again that was the, that was a growth mode in my, in my personal career. And a defining moment in the agency. 


What is the importance of employer branding in recruitment? Well, a defining moment because you recognized it for what it was and you didn’t back away from it. You actually ran toward it. It sounds like, and now you’re on the other side of it. If you can see whatever metaphor you want to use, the blue sky or the Meadows, the whatever, but now beyond the other side is pretty awesome. Difficult to see that when you’re in the thick of it, but yeah, you chose to move through it as opposed to running from it. So cool. 


Yeah. I mean, it didn’t feel like a brave choice at the time. It felt like the only choice so because it’s always different reflecting back on it, isn’t it but, yeah, it was, it was, it was definitely something that I would contribute to the success we’ve had in recent years. If I was to go back again, I would definitely look at the culture of the organization and prioritize that fare that much sooner in the development of the agency, for sure that this was so great. 


And the reason I say it that way is because you’ve been super transparent. You’ve taken us behind the curtain. And you’ve talked about all of the things that were either easy decisions, difficult decisions, or decisions where having those friction moments with your team, all of which have made Ph Creative, a great company today. And I love how you said that the only regret is not having done it. 


So yeah, what we found was the correlation between defining who we were from a brand point of view on a practical level and what gave us some basic decision-making tools. You know, so if in doubt, just default to what we say we stand for and, with integrity, make a decision based on that. What we noticed was it was people at the sort of extremity of the organizations, sort of marketing people, sales, finance, people, making cohesive, coherent decisions independently because of what we said, we stood four so some people think of brand, does it stick that fluffy bit, but we’ll get round to where we were a bit bigger, but actually it’s just an essential core element of the toolkit regardless of size or how long you’ve been going on or so and so forth. 


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Importance of Employer Branding in Recruitment: The Power of Bespoke Employer Branding


And that’s something that I hope this audience really listened to because I made that discovery way too long. My career was also a harsh lesson let alone the hard way because we certainly had some bumps in the road, but that that’s, that was super valuable once that was clear in my mind. And then obviously I can then share that and that’s poured into the philosophy of how we do employ a brand, which has different to our competitors, you know? So it feels good and it resonates and people do stand behind that in the organization. 


Yeah. So let’s start to go there. When you say philosophy, I immediately think of the point of view around the round or why it is that you do what it is that you do. Why do you believe so strongly in it? What are some of the stories, and recommendations that you find yourself often sharing with clients and prospects? Because you know, that that advice is time-tested that really, really works. So as I was getting ready for our conversation, Bryan, one of the things that this set out to me is your talking about bespoke employers. So, break that down, just so we have a little bit clearer view, and then we’ll transition into why you think that’s important. 


Oh, so you mean bespoke employs in terms of how everybody is different. So, yeah. Yeah. And so, in the research that I was doing on a Ph Creative, it looked like part of your belief or point of view is that employers should look like bespoke employers or be unique and different. That would be part of their brand to their prospective employees. 


Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we’ve worked with probably tens, if not hundreds of clients now over the years, every organization is different. And that’s just a fact, but being able to crystallize that and put your finger on it and make it tangible, that’s the art and the science coming together. And really being able to just sort of bring that to the marketplace and justify it as well. But the big myth is that we busted an employer brand, because it, in this industry, umm, the strategy that conventional strategy was just to lift and shift from a consumer brand marketing, is that you can only market your strengths, benefits, and opportunities from an employment perspective. 


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Importance of Employer Branding in Recruitment: The Power of Authentic Employer Branding


And that makes sense. And a consumer world, you want a market and sell it to anybody who will buy, but in our space, that is not the case. You can’t get a job to everybody who applies. And if you want to protect culture, then you need to be able to crystallize what that is and be confident and comfortable enough to say that person is perfectly capable of doing the job, that they wouldn’t fit our culture, and make a different decision based on that. So, it’s not about making your organization seem more universally attractive. It’s about understanding who you are by using the employer brand as a small filter. So people can make better career choices, whether to apply in the first place. You know? 


What is the importance of employer branding in recruitment? So, we talked about being able to be uncomfortable with repelling the money in order to compel a few that will really thrive inside of your culture, which was a very different approach. When you look at conventional consumer marketing and Branding. Oh my gosh. Okay. So let me, let me make sure I got that into my notes correctly. I think I heard you say repel the many and then compelled a few. So if you can galvanize an internal audience around the ideas that you stand for, including the harsh realities that exist in employee experience because it’s not all sunshine and rainbows as I say, they are actually, what we typically find is it’s the harsh realities and the adversities of working inside a company like the pressure of a deadline, the difficulty to understand the management structure, the work-life balance in all of those things that make up the reality and what we all face every day. 


Is there a way to establish the importance of employer branding in recruitment? It’s those things that are the quickest route to finding pride and passion. And self-worth when you do your job, typically you’re proud of it at the end of it because it’s an achievement. If it’s an achievement, that means that you’ve had a learning curve, and you’ve had to work hard. You’ve had to problem-solve those little gold nuggets are the things that typically the organization is. Don’t talk about when we, when we consider applying for a job, it’s like, yeah, but what’s it gonna be? Right. I really do. I have what it takes to thrive in that organization. And the only way to make that assessment with an educated perspective is if more companies talk about the reality in trance in full transparency, but it’s not a negative, it’s something to be proud for proud of, you know? 


So in the Navy Seals, if you wanna get into the Navy sales, you’ve gotta go through something called hell week. And I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty terrible to me. You know, that’s enough to put me off going near the Navy Seals. I don’t want to be a Navy Seal because that sounds atrocious. But to some people they see that as the ultimate challenge, but they want to take on and then think about the amount of pride that they feel when they’re on the other side of that. You know? So that’s typically where the value lies inside an organization. And that’s where we start to dig for gold. When we’re, when we work with clients like Apple, Google, and all the big organizations we’ve worked for it, but it exists in your company, exists in my company and it exists in everybody’s company that’s listening to this.


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Importance of Employer Branding in Recruitment: Forging a Unique Path


Yeah. And what you guys have done is really, really good job of articulating those stories, teasing those out, and really questioning, well, why do we believe that to be true? Or what are some of the data points that back that up? How are we approaching it differently, employer brand differently than some of our competitors, but not just how we’re approaching it differently. Why are we doing that? Right? 


Did you like the basic explanation on the importance of employer branding in recruitment? Well, absolutely spot on. We came on with the philosophy of giving and getting Employer Branding by sheer naive because we decided to double down at a niche. We knew we had a passion for this space. We were in what we didn’t have: all of the mature tools and frameworks that went along with this industry. One, we were just a young company who were making it up as we will go in the long, in the early days too, we didn’t have the experience to look around and ask the right questions. Hey, how do you do it in this space? And three, we thought we knew better. So, we started from scratch and built our own way through sheer nativity. 


And then we listened to our clients. So, in an agile way, we developed a model that was based on their experience, not ours sort of ignorance, at least to say, but that meant we forged our own path, and it was very different from our competitors. So it was a lucky accident, more than sort of better than good planning, but we found, we had a real point of difference on the more we dug and the more we refined and more confidence we have, like, this is, this is different. And we believe in it and we can, we can get around it from a philosophical perspective, from a strategic perspective and from a story perspective, which makes us different. Okay. 


Yeah. So this discovery, and in using your words, Doug in refined, obviously that wouldn’t have happened overnight. So, give us a timeline here or not because I’m encouraging Onward Nation business owners to try to match that timeline. But I just want to illustrate that it takes discipline. We are going to go down this path, we’re going to keep digging, and we’re going to redefine. And then we’re going to ask, and then clients who are gonna give us a push-back and then that leads to more refining. And then, at the end of that, we have a process, a philosophy of something, maybe it’s a book like what you guys have done. So what was that end-to-end experience timing-wise? 


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Importance of Employer Branding in Recruitment: Swimming Against the Tide


So that was probably the first iteration of that was the three years I was talking about it. And the interesting thing they’re is to the market place. We would produce in conventional outcomes and we were producing Employer a brand, which has all of the outputs that, that industry sort of where it was used to work in how we were getting that right. It was very different. So we went to a place where we were trying to sell something, a different solution to the marketplace. We, we, we were, and this is a really important thing to know because if you have, if you want to swim against the tide and you have to educate everybody and convince them to take a risk, then that is exactly as risky as this. 


We were selling a conventional solution but delivering it in an unconventional way for the first three years. And it was the results at the end of that. That was the referrals and the word of mouth and growth. Then, when we reflected, after that three years, how we did it people were saying, wow, it was almost like a Pixar, a moment where they just knocked it out, the park three movies on a bounce, five movies on the bounce. And it was like, how are you doing it? And then we, we, we looked at it internally. That’s when we start to compare it to the marketplace. And no, this is totally different. Our competitors are approaching this in a totally different way. And then consciously from that moment on that’s, then you become a big part of our story in something that we’ve consciously refined in, doubled down on but because of that point of difference, how effective it is a way to deliver the results that our clients want. 


It was so great. I love that. Okay. So this would be a great sort of segue or a transition into the education piece because clearly, you subscribed to, we’re gonna have to teach and share and give and be generous. And in, in, in a part of that comes through educating the market about the why and why our approach, or point of view, or philosophy is unique and different and why that adds value. So, take us into that piece, the education piece, and what that was like in the beginning. And then, and then how you started to see that you are making some impact. 


Yeah, absolutely. So we made a decision earlier on, as we said, and my partner Dave says he, or he always says this inch wide mile deep, we were a very big from on, on that but from a storytelling perspective and not differentiation, we, we really did want to anchor everything around a single point of view. You know, when you think when we were in general marketing agency, we knew our 6,000,001 competitors, and we were never just going to rise and be the biggest and the best. So I started out as a bit of a selfish sort of ambition, if you like, we wanted to be the best at something that we recognize. If we, if we niche down, we’ve got a shot at it. 


What is the importance of employer branding in recruitment? And as the philosophy emerged, we thought, okay, either we educate every prospect, a pitch, how do we do this? So it’s a surprise. And maybe that’s a way that we can convert more clients because they buy into it. Or we can, we can go bigger and try and change the perception of the industry. So that’s what we set out to do by writing the book. And we publish a lot of content and we speak at industry conferences, so and so forth. And this last 18 months probably just started at the end of 2019. We’re now starting to see large global brands publishing their Employer, Bryan talking about the Give and their get so that was the first sign not a client of ours, not we are not better. 


Enhance your knowledge about the importance of employer branding in recruitment by watching this free video: Transitional Moments Framework


Importance of Employer Branding in Recruitment: Ph Creative’s Rapid Rise in the Employer Branding Community


So other agencies or the rest of it, but the industry is starting to use a lot of binoculars and take on our perspective, which is incredibly rewarding. But then, of course, as the originator of that, we solidify in a position of authority, and we don’t rest on our laurels. We can keep that moving and keep it going. But it’s such an advantage in the marketplace if you can stand on something like that. 


Oh my gosh. Oh, okay. So here again, kudos, because if I’m understanding the timeline correctly, really getting intentional around the education piece, was that the 2019 piece, or was it earlier than that? 


So it was me 12 to 18 months earlier than that the, I mean, the book came out in March, 2020, which really sort of what the early signs of people taking on our philosophy it was just prior to that. Okay. 


Yeah. And so that, that is still in the grand scheme of things relatively fast. So I’ll argue this and see, and see if you would agree with this or, or, or maybe argue against it. I would argue that the 18 to 24 months kind of a timeline that we are talking about there, as far as the education piece, the reason why that was relatively short was because a Ph Creative is super niched with a very clear point of view. And so it cuts through the clutter of other content that is out there because you are speaking to a specific audience and they know it. 


The importance of employer branding in recruitment example:

Absolutely. So the employer brand industry, a community is actually relatively small globally, and there is a small community and an important senior executive community. Nevertheless, the budget holders run into the multi-billions, but a small community. Nevertheless. So actually we didn’t have that many people to try and infiltrate sort of indoctrinated through our way of thinking, but rather than tactically change our story based on trends and what’s going on, or try to stay relevant, tactically, what Give and Get the philosophy Gables was an anchor point. 


What did you gain on the importance of employer branding in recruitment? So we had consistency constantly. And then of course we needed to be relevant too, as well. So we can apply a philosophy to things in the press or as, as new research comes out and discoveries in all the rest of it, but constantly anchoring back to one principal, you know? So, when people hear it often enough, if it starts to stick and we’ve definitely seen that traction prove their case, I love it. As far as you were sharing that you were talking about the sides of the audience, how you immediately thought of one more reason in quotes probably the last several months. And he started talking about how we, as marketers need to think about the smallest viable audience is like being famous or essentially having a million downloads is highly overrated. 


And, being super relevant, being the authority to the smallest viable audience as Ph Creative is done immensely powerful. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you don’t want to go into the trumpet oil business because you’re super niche, but you know, you’re not gonna have a mini sales there. So if you write it, it needs to have a sizeable audience, but if you can concentrate that down to the smallest viable and really set out to dominate and own, an influence and transform an ad value and be a part of that community, then if you can build an audience in that way, then value and growth and everything else follows the same. 


Enhance your knowledge about the importance of employer branding in recruitment by watching this free video: Transitional Moments Framework


Importance of Employer Branding in Recruitment: Last Bit of Advice and Connect with Bryan


So I know that we’ve covered a lot, which I am super, super grateful for. Not, not only because we did cover a lot, but your generosity in covering all of it. So thank you very much for that before we go, before we close out and say goodbye, Bryan, anything you think we might have missed any additional recommendations or advice that you’d like to share? And then please do tell Onward Nation, business owners, the best way to connect with you. 


Great. So the best way to connect is to look me up on LinkedIn. I think it’s Bryan Adam’s number one or Bryan items Ph Creative to connect with people on LinkedIn, please don’t underestimate the value of creating a culture by design. Even if there are one to five of you in the organization, much easier to scale a culture you want, but you’ve designed than it is to change a culture that you haven’t late later on. I guess my parting words would be all from a business perspective. I’m just reflecting on this the other day. It came up organically and the conversation with Dave or a partner, and I were working on the concept at the moment, which was a recurring revenue bundle. 


We are looking to all of the value that we offer. What we’ve identified is the reason somebody buys from us originally. Isn’t the reason that they buy from us moving forward. So being really clear on why people buy from you initially, and then what you can sell them to solidify a relationship to intrinsically linked, but very different things. And again, be very niche and focused on specialists. It’s very easy for us to find the answer to those questions in our business. 


And so I would everybody try to find the answer and in their own, that is awesome. Bryan, one last thing before we go: where give us your book title again, and then the best place for our listeners to find a show it’s Give and Get Employer Branding. It’s on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Any of those bookstores on online, but Amazon is the best one. If you do buy it, I love to get feedback and appreciate reviews and you know, and if there are any questions out there really engage on LinkedIn. So help me out there. That’d be great. 


Amazing, awesome. And Onward Nation, no matter how often you go back and relisten to the words of wisdom that Bryan just shared with you the key is you have to take what he, so generously shared, take it, and apply it. 


And if you remember just at the beginning of our conversation, he said, the only thing I regret is that we didn’t do it sooner. So don’t let that be a wonderful lesson right there. He gave you the blueprint, take it and apply it, and do it now. And Bryan, we all have the same 86,400 seconds in a day. And I am grateful my friend that you said yes and were so kind in generous to come on to the show, to be our mentor and guide, to help us move our businesses onward to that next level. Thank you so much, Bryan. Oh my pleasure, Stephen. 


This episode is complete. So head over to for show notes and more food to fuel your ambition. Continue to find your recipe for success here at Onward Nation. 


Enhance your knowledge about the importance of employer branding in recruitment by watching this free video: Transitional Moments Framework

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